The origins of this New York-based funk/soul band can be traced back to 1996 and the forming of the Soul Providers, the original title giving a clear indication of the founders’ musical inclinations. Philip Lehman and Gabriel Roth aka Bosco Mann were driven by their love of 60s and 70s black music to form their own band and the Desco Records label, and with the addition of former correctional officer Sharon Jones (b. Sheron Lafaye Jones, 4 May 1956, Augusta, Georgia, USA) on vocals recorded several albums of deliberately retro funk and soul. The duo went their separate ways in 2000, with Roth forming the Daptones Records label with regular collaborator Neal Sugarman. A new group, the Dap-Kings, was put together to act as the label’s house band. Comprising Roth (bass), Leon Michels (tenor saxophone), Jack Zapata (b. Martín Perna; baritone saxophone), Anda ‘Goodfoot’ Szilagyi (trumpet), Binky Griptite (guitar), Earl Maxton (organ), Homer ‘Funkyfoot’ Steinwess (drums), and Fernando ‘Boogaloo’ Velez (percussion). Jones, whose star had been on the rise with funk and soul fans following the release of a string of singles on Desco, provided the vocals and received top billing. A studio album recorded during the group’s summer residency in Barcelona, Spain was released in very limited numbers in 2001, with a much larger run the following year after the album was championed in the retro funk press. Jones and Roth received the majority of the praise, the former for her controlled, passionate vocals and the latter for his crisp analogue production. A number of personnel changes ensued over the next two years, with Zapata, Maxton and Szilagyi leaving and Sugarman, David Guy (trumpet) and Tommy Brenneck (guitar) added to the line-up. Roth also took a back seat for a while following a serious car accident. Naturally, released in 2005, accentuated the group’s soul leanings, although there was still a number of full-on funk numbers in place. Michels left shortly afterwards to run the Truth & Soul label and was replaced by Ian Hendrickson-Smith. During the next two years the profile of the Dap-Kings expanded beyond the funk and soul circuit when they were hired to work on a number of projects by DJ/producer Mark Ronson, the most notable of which was UK singer Amy Winehouse’s 2006 Back To Black and Ronson’s own Version in 2007. The Dap-Kings also served as Winehouse’s backing band on her first US tour. During this period they also released their most commercially successful album, 100 Days, 100 Nights.Portions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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